• This mini wiki was created by Daniel Berninger for accumulating resources (see below) and discussion (see discussion tab) about ways to achieve universal service and the tendency of the FCC's Universal Service Fund to work against the cause of universal service by protecting telephone monopolies.

Open Letter to Congressional Commerce Committees

July 10, 2006

The Honorable Ted Stevens, Chairman
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

The Honorable Joe Barton, Chairman
House Committee on Energy and Commerce

Dear Chairman Stevens and Chairman Barton:

The importance of achieving universal access to telephone service motivates a request that your committees open hearings to account for how the $50 billion spent by the Universal Service Fund (USF) over the last 20 years contributed to the cause of universal service.

More than five million households remain without regular access to telephone service in the United States. Penetration rates increased 2% from 1985 to 1995 as the USF consumed $7bn in the program's first decade and an additional 1% of households got telephone service between 1996 and 2005 as the USF spent another $43bn. This might seem like progress albeit small and expensive ($16,000 per additional telephone line) until one notices the penetration rate for telephone service grew 2% in the 70's be the USF existed.

<snip> ... read rest of letter here

Universal Service Fund Adminstration Company annual reports

FCC R&0 and NPRM adding USF assessments to VoIP

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